Denmark will temporarily withdraw a group of soldiers from Iraq because of the current situation in the Middle East, announced Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Wednesday during a special press conference in the PM’s office.
“The safety of our soldiers is our top priority. It is important to emphasize that it is only temporary,” said Frederiksen.
In a show of unity, Frederiksen was flanked at separate podiums by Defense Minister Trine Bramsen and Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod as she spoke.
Danish soldiers are in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government to train the Iraqi military in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) in cooperation with other NATO members.
So far nearly 20,000 Iraqis have been trained, but since last Saturday, training activities have been halted due to the escalating conflict in the region.
“We will continue our efforts in Iraq. But we have decided to transfer a group of Danish soldiers to Kuwait. They are part of the contribution that cannot be performed at present because of the situation in Iraq. We hope they can return to Iraq soon,” said the prime minister.
According to Frederiksen, 30 to 40 Danish soldiers will remain in Iraq after the relocation, who will carry out protective tasks at their military base.
There are around 130 Danish soldiers serving within the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, with a further 10 officers working with NATO in Baghdad. Enditem